Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Finance Committee

Aug. 30, 2000

Commission Hearing Room
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Headquarters Complex
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
                                                          1
 
 
  
           7           BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the
 
           8       30th day of August, 2000, there came on to be
 
           9       heard matters under the regulatory authority of
 
          10       the Parks and Wildlife Commission of Texas, in
 
          11       the Commission Hearing Room of the Texas Parks
 
          12       and Wildlife Headquarters Complex, Austin,
 
          13       Texas, beginning at 12:07 p.m to wit:
 
          14
 
          15
                   APPEARANCES:
          16       THE PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION:
                   FINANCE COMMITTEE:
          17       Chair:        Dick W. Heath
                                 Lee M. Bass
          18                     Carol E. Dinkins
                                 Ernest Angelo, Jr.
          19                     Nolan Ryan
                                 John Avila, Jr.
          20                     Alvin L. Henry
                                 Katharine Armstrong Idsal
          21                     Mark E. Watson, Jr.
 
          22       THE PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT:
                   Andrew H. Sansom, Executive Director, and other
          23       personnel of the Parks and Wildlife Department
 
          24
 
          25
 
 
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           1                     AUGUST 30, 2000
 
           2
 
           3                CHAIR HEATH:  Thank you very much,
 
           4       sir.  There's no need for reading of Vernon's
 
           5       Civil Statutes since we've remained in
 
           6       session.  You-all have received copies of the
 
           7       committee minutes from the last meeting here in
 
           8       Austin.  If -- Are there any comments?  If not,
 
           9       I'd move for approval.
 
          10                 COMMISSIONER WATSON:  So moved.
 
          11                 CHAIR HEATH:  Second.
 
          12                 COMMISSIONER DINKINS:  Second.
 
          13                 CHAIR HEATH:  Motion and a second.
 
          14       All in favor?
 
          15                 ALL COMMISSIONERS:  Aye.
 
          16                 (No response, and motion carries
 
          17       unanimously.)
 
          18                 CHAIR HEATH:  Not -- Not currently in
 
          19       your books, Committee, are the minutes from the
 
          20       meeting that we held in Dallas.  Those we'll
 
          21       get to you before the afternoon is -- is
 
          22       completed.
 
          23            And I'm going to ask people to please
 
          24       respect the Committee's need to hear one
 
          25       another.  Thank you.
 
 
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           1            This being said, we have a briefing on the
 
           2       Chairman's charges.  Andy.
 
           3       ITEM NO. 1 - BRIEFING - CHAIRMAN'S CHARGES.
 
           4                 MR. SANSOM:  Very briefly,
 
           5       Mr. Chairman, we'd signed a contract with
 
           6       MCI WorldCom to serve as a carrier for our
 
           7       license point of sale.  Those licenses under
 
           8       the new system will be available in the next
 
           9       license year.  On your agenda today and
 
          10       tomorrow is a request for approval of four park
 
          11       transfers.  This was directly related to our
 
          12       charges to try to see if we could find partners
 
          13       for properties that would be more appropriately
 
          14       managed by others, and I will just tell you
 
          15       that the preliminary numbers for this year's
 
          16       Big Time Texas Hunts are absolutely great.  Our
 
          17       total -- total estimated sales to date are over
 
          18       29,000.  This is 41 percent of total sales for
 
          19       1999 with two months left to go.
 
          20                 CHAIR HEATH:  Wonderful.  Thank you,
 
          21       Andy.
 
          22       AGENDA ITEM NO. 2:  ACTION - FY2001 OPERATING
 
          23       AND CAPITAL BUDGETS AND TEXAS PARKS AND
 
          24       WILDLIFE INVESTMENT POLICY
 
          25                 CHAIR HEATH:  The next item is an
 
 
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           1       action item.  It's to discuss the operating and
 
           2       capital budget and the Parks and Wildlife
 
           3       investment policy.
 
           4            Suzy.
 
           5            What we've asked Suzy to do today,
 
           6       Committee, is to give us a brief overview of
 
           7       the operating capital budgets' and our
 
           8       investment policy.  At our last meeting I think
 
           9       the majority of us had an opportunity to
 
          10       comment and give input and asked staff to go
 
          11       back and give us some revisions from there.
 
          12            So Suzy, if you would give us, again in
 
          13       the interest of time, give us a brief
 
          14       overview.  It will go into more depth tomorrow.
 
          15                 MS. WHITTENTON:  Okay.  Thank you,
 
          16       Mr. Chairman, Commissioners.  I'll spend most
 
          17       of the time today talking about budget
 
          18       highlights and then answering the questions
 
          19       that came up and also briefly discussing or
 
          20       giving an update on the appropriations
 
          21       request.
 
          22            This pie chart on cash available by source
 
          23       shows that over half of our funding comes from
 
          24       the Game Fish and Water Safety Account,
 
          25       Account 9, with the State Parks Account as the
 
 
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           1       next largest source of revenue.  We also take
 
           2       into account bonds, local park accounts and
 
           3       general revenue in determining the amount of
 
           4       funds available in setting our budget.
 
           5            This year, as we mentioned at the last
 
           6       meeting, we have less appropriation authority
 
           7       than we have cash, especially in Account 64,
 
           8       the parks account, so we budgeted to the
 
           9       appropriations level, rather than the cash
 
          10       available level.  We received requests for --
 
          11       from the division directors for about
 
          12       $192 million in operating budgets, and after
 
          13       reviewing the needs and appropriations
 
          14       available, the staff's recommending an
 
          15       operating budget of $188 million.
 
          16            Capital budget requests came in at 28 1/2
 
          17       and we're recommending 27 1/2 after looking at
 
          18       what was needed.  We also have a recommended
 
          19       grant budget of just over $30 million, most of
 
          20       which is for local parks.
 
          21            All added up, the total budget
 
          22       recommendation is at approximately $245
 
          23       million.  This will allow us to budget the full
 
          24       amount of appropriation authority and to
 
          25       address the Legislature's concern about leaving
 
 
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           1       unexpended balances.  We've budgeted as much as
 
           2       possible.
 
           3            I've identified six issues here to briefly
 
           4       discuss an impact on the budget.  The first
 
           5       one I already mentioned was the limited
 
           6       appropriations authority.
 
           7            The second item there I thought you needed
 
           8       to be aware of was that we made a tough
 
           9       business decision to close the print shop,
 
          10       agency print shop.  We've been directed by the
 
          11       legislature to consider outsourcing as much as
 
          12       possible and we took a look at the comparison
 
          13       of having a print shop in house versus
 
          14       outsourcing printing, and it was real clear
 
          15       after looking at the numbers that the best
 
          16       thing to do for the Department was to close the
 
          17       print shop.
 
          18            The next couple of slides will -- will
 
          19       address outreach and allocated interest on
 
          20       stamp funds in more detail.  Other items that
 
          21       impacted the budget were reclassifications.  We
 
          22       did some salary studies that we've talked about
 
          23       that resulted in increased personnel costs and
 
          24       that was a big -- had a big impact on this
 
          25       budget.
 
 
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           1            And lastly there, we -- In past approp --
 
           2       In past appropriations bills, we had a rider to
 
           3       those appropriations that allowed us --  that
 
           4       we refer to as the entrepreneurial rider that
 
           5       allowed us to budget funds that we -- revenues
 
           6       that we received in excess of what we
 
           7       expected.  And we lost that rider at the
 
           8       last -- during the last session and that has
 
           9       had an impact.  That would be revenues like
 
          10       concession income that normally we would be
 
          11       able to take it and reappropriate it and we're
 
          12       no longer able to do that, so we have less
 
          13       appropriations to work with.
 
          14            At the -- At the August 10th meeting, we
 
          15       talked about trends in outreach dollars, and so
 
          16       I wanted to show you a chart real briefly that
 
          17       shows the increase in effort that Parks and
 
          18       Wildlife is doing to -- to do more outreach.
 
          19       We -- These numbers are based strictly on the
 
          20       outreach grants and the money that we spend in
 
          21       education.  It's increased
 
          22       66 percent since 1999 and then we've included
 
          23       another 9 percent increase between the years
 
          24       2000 and 2001 to do, so it adds up to
 
          25       approximately $3.8 million for the coming
 
 
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           1       budget year.
 
           2                 CHAIR HEATH:  Just one comment, Suzy,
 
           3       on -- on out -- Outreach is an important
 
           4       subject certainly from our last -- our last
 
           5       meeting.  I just want to reiterate that this --
 
           6       the amount of money here that we're talking
 
           7       about is directly related to outreach grants in
 
           8       the education budget and outreach is an
 
           9       embedded part of the culture of this
 
          10       Department, and I think what we specifically
 
          11       want to work to look at in the future is
 
          12       outreach as related directly to urban outreach
 
          13       and to bringing customers, if you will, into
 
          14       the fold and the things that we are responsible
 
          15       for as this -- as this Commission.
 
          16            And I've asked the executive director to
 
          17       specifically going forward ask Department heads
 
          18       to begin to break out specific numbers relating
 
          19       to outreach as they can identify it as
 
          20       addressing the building of our customer base
 
          21       and the building of youth involvement,
 
          22       specifically in -- in all of the -- of our
 
          23       endeavors.
 
          24            So historically, as I say, it's been a
 
          25       cultural thing, a part of what we do
 
 
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           1       automatically going forward, we've asked that
 
           2       specifically we identify outreach either as a
 
           3       budget line, and I'm not sure exactly how we
 
           4       will do that yet, but I just wanted to comment
 
           5       on that, and, Commissioner Henry, particularly
 
           6       for your interest and your efforts in this
 
           7       area.
 
           8                 COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Thank you,
 
           9       Mr. Chairman.
 
          10                 MS. WHITTENTON:  We budgeted an
 
          11       additional $250,000 over and above the prev --
 
          12       the current year for next year for a project
 
          13       where we would have a person in each of the
 
          14       major urban areas and I think we've got Dallas,
 
          15       Houston, and San Antonio.  We're going to add
 
          16       three FTEs to coordinate outreach in those
 
          17       areas.
 
          18            We also discussed at the last meeting
 
          19       how -- what method we're using to allocate
 
          20       interest on the stamp funds, and I wanted to
 
          21       briefly update you on that.  We are allocating
 
          22       interest in this budget for earnings on
 
          23       interest -- interest earnings on waterfowl,
 
          24       white water, turkey, and trout stamps for
 
          25       this -- for 2001.  The amount, it adds up to
 
 
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           1       about $321,000 our estimate does, and we'll go
 
           2       ahead and budget the estimate up front, but
 
           3       throughout the year what we'll do is we will
 
           4       look at the actual interest earnings and
 
           5       journal entry them into those dedicated --
 
           6       those dedicate -- into those dedications.
 
           7            The estimate was based on a 5.6 percent
 
           8       interest rate and we multiplied that by the
 
           9       average ending monthly balance in each of those
 
          10       dedications, so that will be -- We'll be doing
 
          11       that throughout the year to make sure that the
 
          12       exact interest earned is -- is moved to the
 
          13       dedications.
 
          14            At the last meeting, we also talked about
 
          15       what our -- our policy was on handling
 
          16       endowment funds, and a policy does exist that
 
          17       allows the interest to be used on the operating
 
          18       budget from endowments except for on
 
          19       site-specific funds where those can only be
 
          20       used for the designated -- for the
 
          21       designation.  We also have the option of
 
          22       rolling interest back into the endowment if we
 
          23       decide not to use it, and I just wanted to note
 
          24       that we are not budgeting endowment earnings in
 
          25       this -- interest earnings in the 2001 budget.
 
 
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           1            And that was all I had on the operating
 
           2       budget.  I just wanted to follow up quickly
 
           3       with you on the legislative appropriations
 
           4       process, the request.  We submitted the
 
           5       document on August the 18th for the 2002-2003
 
           6       biennium.  And just as a reminder, the request
 
           7       was limited to level spending.  We weren't
 
           8       allowed to ask for more than we currently have,
 
           9       unless it was put in an exceptional item
 
          10       request.
 
          11            We did identify two exceptional items that
 
          12       we wanted to ask for, ask the Legislature to
 
          13       consider it at legislative session.  Those two
 
          14       categories are operating and -- and capital
 
          15       enhancements for state parks, and also for
 
          16       additional authority to spend funds for license
 
          17       buyback programs.
 
          18            The first item for state parks is broken
 
          19       out between operating expense needs and capital
 
          20       repair needs.  The first $5 million for
 
          21       operating expense is the difference between the
 
          22       State Auditor's audit recommendations and what
 
          23       we actually received last session in additional
 
          24       operating funds.  So that difference is
 
          25       approximately $5 million, which includes 81 1/2
 
 
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           1       FTE's.  And these are per year numbers.
 
           2            We're also asking for $8 million in
 
           3       facility repair needs per year to address the
 
           4       scheduled repair needs in parks.  This slide
 
           5       slows the types of repairs we're working on.
 
           6       The top triangle is the backlog recovery that
 
           7       we're using bond money for, to -- to address
 
           8       the backlog that had built up over time.  And
 
           9       the -- The red line is the scheduled repairs
 
          10       that we need to do in order to keep that
 
          11       triangle from going back up in the other
 
          12       direction so that we won't continue to have a
 
          13       backlog.
 
          14            We think that estimate is -- is very
 
          15       conservative, the $8 million, so we're going
 
          16       to -- We expect that to eventually climb to
 
          17       more like $13 to $15 million, but at this time,
 
          18       because we have other bond money we're still
 
          19       trying to use to clean up the backlog, we'll
 
          20       only be asking for $8 million in the next
 
          21       biennium for each year.
 
          22            The other item that we identified is due
 
          23       to increased fees from both salt water stamp
 
          24       fees and from the proposed increase in the
 
          25       shrimp license fees.  With the new revenue
 
 
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           1       that's -- that we expect to come in from those
 
           2       sources, we won't have the appropriation
 
           3       authority to spend them under current levels,
 
           4       so we're just going to ask here not for more
 
           5       funds, but just for the authority to spend the
 
           6       funds that we anticipate earning.
 
           7            Lastly, we've asked for some changes to
 
           8       our appropriation riders.  The entrepreneurial
 
           9       rider is what we used to -- It was the old
 
          10       Rider Number 17.  We've asked to have that
 
          11       back.  That's the most significant change that
 
          12       we're asking for in our -- in our appropriation
 
          13       riders.  That allows us to spend the additional
 
          14       revenue that we earn.  It encourages
 
          15       revenue-generating activity, so we're going to
 
          16       ask for that back.
 
          17            The others, the state housing is just --
 
          18       allows for more -- The Department had more
 
          19       flexibility in designating who the state
 
          20       housing is for.  Currently the rider says it's
 
          21       for the manager and assistant manager at each
 
          22       state park.  Land sale proceeds, we're asking
 
          23       here if we sell any land that's owned by the
 
          24       Department that we would have the authority to
 
          25       spend those funds on additional purchases of
 
 
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           1       similar -- similar-type purchases.
 
           2            Capital budget I listed here because I
 
           3       just wanted you to know that we've asked to
 
           4       have -- We've asked for vehicles back at the
 
           5       level before we had our vehicle reduction that
 
           6       the Legislature put in place at the last
 
           7       session, so we're asking for the old level of
 
           8       vehicle purchases that we used to have.
 
           9            I have copies of the appropriations
 
          10       request for you if you'd like copies.  I also
 
          11       have a handout of the administrator's statement
 
          12       and attached to that is the -- a summary of the
 
          13       request which may be easier to read than the
 
          14       entire document, which I know it's over
 
          15       100 pages.  If you'd like copies of those I can
 
          16       get those to you before you leave.
 
          17            And that's all I had today, and tomorrow I
 
          18       will go into more detail on the financial
 
          19       condition of the agency.
 
          20            And I'm happy to take any questions.  And
 
          21       that was quick.
 
          22                 CHAIR HEATH:  Well, it was quick, but
 
          23       I think it was also a summary of our last
 
          24       meeting in -- in Dallas and we'll expect a more
 
          25       complete update for the public tomorrow.  Any
 
 
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           1       questions of Suzy from the Commission?
 
           2            If not, the Chair would entertain a motion
 
           3       to approve this item for consideration in
 
           4       tomorrow's commission meeting.
 
           5                 COMMISSIONER WATSON:  So moved.
 
           6                 CHAIR HEATH:  Do I have second?  All
 
           7       in favor?
 
           8                 COMMISSION MEMBERS:  Aye.
 
           9                 (No response, and motion carries
 
          10       unanimously.)
 
          11                 CHAIR HEATH:  Thank you.
 
          12            If you-all would look to your Finance
 
          13       Committee agenda, Item Number 3 are local park
 
          14       grants, primarily other -- other grants.  Item
 
          15       Number 4 is an item regarding facility
 
          16       transfers, and Item Number 5 is an item that is
 
          17       potentially, I believe, an item for the consent
 
          18       agenda.
 
          19            It would be the Chair's suggestion that in
 
          20       the light of the time that we postpone Items 3
 
          21       and 4 for tomorrow's agenda and that we discuss
 
          22       these in the context of the full Commission
 
          23       tomorrow.
 
          24            Andy, the Item Number 5 could also be
 
          25       certainly delayed until tomorrow.  I think it's
 
 
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           1       an item that is certainly a candidate for the
 
           2       consent agenda.
 
           3            Mr. Chairman, whether that would be more
 
           4       expedient for tomorrow or today and just do it
 
           5       as a regular item tomorrow or --
 
           6                 MR. SANSOM:  That's what I'd do.  If
 
           7       you --
 
           8                 CHAIR HEATH:  Okay.
 
           9                 MR. SANSOM:  -- pass it along, I
 
          10       would not put on the consent.
 
          11                 CHAIR HEATH:  Okay.  And I agree with
 
          12       that then.
 
          13            I think Item Number 5 I would then put in
 
          14       the same category as Items 3 and 4.  If the
 
          15       Commission agrees, the Committee agrees, we
 
          16       will move all of these items to tomorrow and we
 
          17       would not make Item 5 a consent agenda item.
 
          18            Any discussion on that?  If not, then I'd
 
          19       ask for a motion to move those three items to
 
          20       tomorrow's agenda to the full Commission.
 
          21                 COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  So moved.
 
          22                 COMMISSIONER DINKINS:  Second.
 
          23                 COMMISSIONER HEATH:  All in favor?
 
          24                 COMMISSION MEMBERS:  Aye.
 
          25                 CHAIR HEATH:  Opposed?
 
 
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           1                 (No response and motion carries
 
           2       unanimously.)
 
           3                 CHAIR HEATH:  Carries.  And with
 
           4       that, we'll close this meeting and go into
 
           5       executive session.
 
           6            Mr. Chairman.
 
           7                 CHAIRMAN BASS:  I believe we will --
 
           8       Ms. Dinkins, would you care to open the
 
           9       Conservation Committee meeting, at which point
 
          10       we can then appropriately go into executive
 
          11       session.
 
          12                 CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
 
          13       Mr. Chairman.  Call the Committee to order and
 
          14       we will dispense with considering the minutes
 
          15       of the last meeting since you haven't had a
 
          16       chance to read them.  And I don't believe we
 
          17       need to cover the Chairman's charges.
 
          18            So with that, if the Chairman would -- Do
 
          19       you have a statement of the Executive --
 
          20                 CHAIRMAN BASS:  I do.  I'd like to
 
          21       announce that pursuant to requirement
 
          22       Section 511, Government Code, referred to as
 
          23       the Open Meetings Law, Executive Session will
 
          24       be held at this time for the purpose of
 
          25       consideration of land transactions and
 
 
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           1       contemplated litigation.
 
           2            At this point, we will adjourn and
 
           3       reconvene here shortly.
 
           4                 (Whereupon an Executive Session was
 
           5       held.)
 
           6
 
           7
 
           8
 
           9
 
          10
 
          11
 
          12
 
          13
 
          14
 
          15
 
          16
 
          17
 
          18
 
          19
 
          20
 
          21
 
          22
 
          23
 
          24
 
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           1       THE STATE OF TEXAS    )
                   COUNTY OF BEXAR       )
           2
 
           3                 I, TONYA R. THOMPSON, a Certified
 
           4       Court Reporter in and for the State of Texas,
 
           5       do hereby certify that the above and foregoing
 
           6       20 pages constitute a full, true, and correct
 
           7       transcript of the minutes of the Texas Parks
 
           8       and Wildlife Commission on AUGUST 30, 2000, in
 
           9       the Commission Hearing Room of the Texas Parks
 
          10       and Wildlife Headquarters Complex, Austin,
 
          11       Travis County, Texas.
 
          12           I FURTHER CERTIFY that a stenographic
 
          13       record was made by me at the time of the public
 
          14       meeting and said stenographic notes were
 
          15       thereafter reduced to computerized
 
          16       transcription under my supervision and control.
 
          17           WITNESS MY HAND this the      day of
 
          18                       , 2000.
 
          19
 
          20
 
          21                     TONYA R. THOMPSON, Texas CSR 5476
                                 Expiration Date:  12/2000
          22                     7800 IH-10 West, Suite 100
                                 San Antonio, Texas 78230
          23                     (210) 377-3027
 
          24       EBS NO.:
 
          25
 
 
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.                                                              20
 
 
 
           1
 
           2
                                      DICK W. HEATH, CHAIR
           3
 
           4                          LEE M. BASS
 
           5
                                      CAROL E. DINKINS
           6
 
           7                          NOLAN RYAN
 
           8
                                      ERNEST ANGELO, JR.
           9
 
          10                          JOHN AVILA, JR.
 
          11
                                      ALVIN L. HENRY
          12
 
          13                          KATHARINE ARMSTRONG IDSAL
 
          14
                                      MARK E. WATSON, JR.
          15
 
          16
 
          17
 
          18
 
          19
 
          20
 
          21
 
          22
 
          23
 
          24
 
          25
 
 
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